Capella consortium

Management spearheading buyout of indie

Capella Films chairman Andreas Lindstroem is spearheading a management buyout of the German-owned indie, backed by a German bank and a group of German investors.

L.A.-based Capella is a sales and financing company best known for titles such as “Nobody’s Fool,” “The Shadow” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”

The deal, which Lindstroem described as “a management-induced and orchestrated buyout,” will see Capella’s current management team remain in place at the company.

According to Lindstroem, Capella’s owner, German media baron Rolf Deyhle, is selling the company to a consortium comprising a German bank, a group of German investors involved with Stuttgart-based investment fund Kapital Consult and Capella management.

Negotiating for “months”

“(The new investors) are buying into an operation, a conduit with relationships and expertise in this business,” said Lindstroem, who said that the three parties had been in negotiations for months with Deyhle, who initially didn’t want to sell.

“They didn’t want the company to fall into somebody else’s hands,” he added.

Lindstroem would not disclose the name of the bank, nor the total value of the deal. He said the lion’s share of the company would be owned by the bank and investors, with management retaining a small stake.

Kapital Consult, which is headed by Walter Fink, is one of the largest media funds in Germany. In 1996 Deyhle and Kapital formed a new fund, KC Medien, in order to raise financing from private German investors for L.A.-based Capella’s acquisition and production activity.

In Germany there are numerous such schemes that enable private individuals to lower their tax bills by investing in entertainment funds.

Lindstroem said Capella has about $30 million of financing, raised by KC Medien in this way, allocated to projects on its current and upcoming film slate.

Rights to several pix

Capella’s first order of business using its new German money was acquiring foreign rights to New Line Cinema’s Mike Myers comedy “Austin Powers.” This year it partnered with New Line for a second time, on the spoof “Dairy Queens.”

Other pick-ups include Swedish action pic “Commander Hamilton,” and the South African-set drama “After the Rain.” Per Lindstroem, the company is examining a possible six further acquisitions.

The sale of Capella was sparked by Deyhle’s ongoing effort to reduce his entertainment holdings (Daily Variety, June 9).